“I wonder what would happen if I walked over and asked the little red haired girl to have lunch with me. She probably would laugh right in my face. It’s hard on a face when it gets laughed in.” – Charlie Brown
Imagine what past generations would think of using on-line dating sites to meet someone. In our forefathers day people met potential spouses face to face in various social gatherings. This gave them the chance to get to know the other persons characteristics and how they reacted to different situations. It kept the guess work to a minimum.
With a finger swipe to the left you can dismiss a potential suitor, with one swipe to the right you can look at a potential match. What is wrong with this picture? It seems so impersonal. How can you know anything about a person based on what you see on a screen of any kind? I know people have busy lives but it’s time to take a breather and start mingling with others in real life situations. We need to be skeptical on how others present themselves. I’ve been tempted to do a profile of myself on dating/relationship websites but it would under false pretenses. All I would be curious about is what responses I would get rather than getting involved in a relationship.
It almost goes without saying that virtual friends aren’t the same as having real ones. Social networking is beneficial in that a lot of information is passed along in a short period of time. But online relations will never build bonds or provide in depth friendships between people that face to face meeting do. I do have a Facebook account but I’ve known most of the regulars on it for years. Otherwise it’s a case of Caveat Emptor when dealing with strangers online.
Inter-Net relationships can be fun and stimulating but they can also be quite superficial. The fabrication and distortion of the truth in cyberspace must be incredible. It’s a world where the truth is set aside when a person can reinvent themselves at will.
On-line relations is a way of not dealing with the fear of intimacy with no real risks to deal with. When the virtual relationship ends, both people concerned are still alone, probably more lonely than beforehand. In the World Wide Web a mistake is presenting yourself as a sanitized version of what you are is not the real thing.
Online match making has become a growth industry in the last few years as there is quite the selection of websites to choose from. Christian date websites claim they can ” find God’s match for you.” I can’t say how much God is involved or interested here but it still sounds like a gamble on who you meet. I do see one advantage of dating websites is that it can be a good filter to sort out who you want to meet and do a background check on someone before meeting them.
Dating websites can be a fertile ground for people to produce faulty expectations as anyone can be anything they want to be when filling out their profile. What they are like in reality could be a different matter. How many sociopaths, psychopaths and stalkers are surfing the net looking for victims? I’ve seen so many people jump from one relationship to another one with a minimum of time between each one and not take a good look at what they are getting into. I can only guess how many people use dating websites as a quick way of meeting that “special” one.
I would make some suggestions to those wanting to get into a romantic relationship. First is to give yourself sometime between these kinds of relationships. One could very well need space and time to deal with the issues and luggage that accumulated in the previous relationship. When the next opportunity arises ask yourself why you want to be in that relationship. Instead of sitting in front of a computer, it would be better to get out and mingle with others in a variety of social situations. One can’t let themselves get so desperate that they will settle for just anyone that comes along. Like anything in life, it’s a matter of quality over quantity.
By Ron Murdock